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Merrimack Valley

April 26, 2014

Tisei to fundraise with candidate who opposes gay marriage

Just a month after Richard Tisei skipped the state Republican convention to protest his party’s anti-gay marriage stance, he’s found an unlikely fundraising partner: Frank Guinta, a New Hampshire politician with links to the Tea Party who himself opposes gay marriage.

Tisei has consistently portrayed himself as a moderate Republican in his campaign for the 6th District seat currently held by Democrat John Tierney, to whom he narrowly lost the same seat in 2012. Himself gay and married, Tisei has also repeatedly said that he thinks the Republican Party ought to abandon some of its longstanding social conservatism.

But Tisei stands to benefit from a newly formed joint fundraising committee called the New England Majority Fund, and the fund’s only other beneficiary is Guinta, a Manchester Republican with a history of opposing not only gay marriage but abortion, another issue on which Tisei differs from many of those in his own party.

Although it’s by no means unusual for candidates of the same party to pair up for fundraising ventures, the move is also notable because Guinta has previously aligned himself with the tea party — and because Guinta himself is running against Dan Innis, a gay and married Republican, in the primary.

Tisei said Thursday that the issue boiled down to convenience.

“There are individuals who know both Frank and myself, who want to have an event for the both of us,” he said. “Establishing a joint fundraising committee for the event is the cleanest way to do it, logistically.”

Plans for the joint fundraising event haven’t been hashed out yet, but Tisei said it could take place in the next few months. Establishing the committee will allow donors to write a single check to be shared equally among the two candidates, instead of having to write two checks.

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